Now, what i am writing here may seem trivial, given the current lack of investment in Yorkshire by the government and the fact that many people in our area are struggling with underemployment and low wages. But hear me out, i have a question to ask…
Is it time that we adopted our iconic red telephone boxes?
The bright red kiosks were once essential to many people, prior to the availability of cheap mobile phones. Jobs were secured by them, families separated by distance kept in touch via them and romances were played out over the wire of many. Today they have all but disappeared from our local towns and villages, once they are gone all many will have left are whispy memories of the little box that once was so important to them. Sure, we all have mobiles now but, just for the sake of nostalgia, isn’t it time we thought seriously about preserving at least one?
The ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme has been running for some time now, helping local councils and community groups to preserve the heritage of the little red box. Many have been successfully turned into small book exchanges, mini heritage centres, art exhibitions or defibrillator stations. It seems the tiny box is quite versatile. In our own locality we have a couple remaining, the one on the corner of Empire Street in Moorthorpe is in a sorry state. Probably the best placed box for conservation is the one located near to the entrance of South Elmsall market, on Barnsley Road, in such a prime location it could be given a new lease of life. As a defibrillator station it could actually save a life. The scheme allows a local authority such as a Parish or town council, or even a registered charity to adopt a kiosk for just £1. Bargain? Perhaps, but there are some things to consider.
The boxes are adopted ‘as seen’ and all maintenance and repairs become the responsibility of the new owner. The boxes cannot (normally) be moved and the adoption is subject to an assessment by British Telecom, to ascertain the current usage etc. More information and the application to adopt (should anyone from South Elmsall Town Council be reading this) can be found here.
So, yes or no? Should we adopt our little red kiosk?